Disney // 2003 // 30 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Appellate Judge Mike Pinsky (Retired) // August 12th, 2004
"Mathematics alone make us feel the limits of our intelligence." -- Simone Weil
I remember growing up watching Sesame Street in the early 1970s. Each episode of the show would reinforce, among other lessons, a single number. The Count would cackle insanely about three bats. A pinball machine would hit three bumpers. Oscar the Grouch would find three tin cans. Repetition is how we come to believe that things are natural, and so I quickly learned that the number three was out there in the world.
The Baby Einstein collection has always been adept at reinforcing lessons for children, through music and toys and puppets that my daughter giggles at with delight. Since Disney kicked into high gear producing new discs in the series, creator Julie Aigner-Clark has been conspicuously absent. Perhaps her children, Sierra and Aspen, were just too old to appear on camera any longer (you can still see them featured prominently in earlier installments in the collection). Perhaps she felt she had little to add to discs like Baby Neptune and Baby Galileo, whose subject matter seemed to be slipping outside the scope of the earlier Baby Einstein shows like Baby Mozart and Neighborhood Animals. My daughter loves them all, though.
But Aigner-Clark is back in force with Baby Einstein: Numbers Nursery. This program focuses on teaching the numbers one through five. In choosing to concentrate only on the first five numbers, Aigner-Clark and company have the opportunity to thoroughly reinforce counting, object recognition, pronunciation, and other skills. Each segment opens with a poem by Aigner-Clark, performed by puppets (unlike those seen in the last few installments, these puppets do not seem to have identifiable character names). Toys and other objects, puppets and live action footage, children counting or identifying numbers of objects -- all are edited together to classical music in the standard Baby Einstein style.
If you have seen Baby Einstein before, you know what I am talking about, and you have probably already ordered this disc or plan to buy it for your collection. If you have never bought Baby Einstein for your toddler and are wondering what else might make this worth your while (compared to the dozens of rival educational discs out there), then note that Disney also includes video flash cards in seven languages (teach your kids how to count to 10 in Hebrew or Japanese!), several counting games, and Julie Aigner-Clark reading the accompanying Numbers Nursery book.
I always look forward to each new entry in the Baby Einstein collection. I know my daughter enjoys them, and the educational quality has always been impressive. Julie Aigner-Clark can be proud of what she has accomplished in this series. I expect more good ideas to come.
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Scales of Justice
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Discovery Cards
* Count-Along Activities
* See and Spy Counting Book
* Toy Chest
* Official Site